MDPI, Journal of Clinical Medicine, 7(8), p. 1084, 2019
Objective: To examine the prevalence of silent myocardial ischemia and fibrosis in antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), using stress cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). Methods: Forty-four consecutive APS patients without prior cardiac disease (22 primary APS, 22 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)/APS, mean age 44 (12.9) years, 64% women) and 44 age/gender-matched controls were evaluated using CMR at 1.5 T. Steady-state free precession imaging for function assessment and adenosine stress-CMR for perfusion-fibrosis evaluation were employed. The myocardial perfusion reserve index (MPRI), and myocardial fibrosis expressed as late gadolinium enhancement (LGE), were evaluated. Coronary angiography was indicated in patients with LGE. Associations with APS characteristics, classic cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) and high-sensitivity Troponin (hs-TnT) levels were tested. All patients were followed up for 12 months. Results: Median MPRI was significantly lower in APS patients versus controls [1.5 (0.9–1.9) vs. 2.7 (2.2–3.2), p < 0.001], independently of any LGE presence. LGE was detected in 16 (36.3%) patients versus none of controls (p < 0.001); 12/16 were subsequently examined with coronary angiography and only two of them had coronary artery lesions. In multivariable analysis, none of the APS-related and classic CVD risk factors, or hs-CRP and hs-TnT covariates, were significant predictors of abnormal MPRI or LGE. At the twelve month follow-up, three (6.8%) patients experienced coronary artery disease, notably those with the lowest MPRI values. Conclusions: Abnormal MPRI and LGE are common in asymptomatic APS patients, independently so of any APS-related and classic CVD risk factors, or coronary angiography findings in cases with LGE. Stress-CMR is a valuable tool to detect silent myocardial ischemia and fibrosis in APS.